Olympics host country Brazil is confronting an epidemic of anti-gay violence, reports the New York Times.
The assailant struck as Gabriel Figueira Lima, 21, stood on a street two weeks ago in a city in the Amazon, plunging a knife into his neck and speeding off on the back of a motorcycle, leaving him to die.
A few days earlier, in the coastal state of Bahia, two beloved teachers, Edivaldo Silva de Oliveira and Jeovan Bandeira, were killed as well, their charred remains found in the trunk of a burning car.
Late last month, it was Wellington Júlio de Castro Mendonça, a shy, 24-year-old retail clerk, who was bludgeoned and stoned to death near a highway in a city northwest of Rio….
the brutal killings stood out: The victims were not robbed, the police have yet to identify any suspects, and all of the dead were either gay or transgender.
Nearly 1,600 people have died in hate-motivated attacks in the past four and half years, and a gay or transgender person is killed almost every day in Brazil, which has a population of 200 million.
While the anti-gay violence can be traced to Brazil’s culture of machismo, a brand of evangelical Christianity, exported from the United States, that is outspoken in its opposition to homosexuality, is also thought to blame for the violence.